Total Project Management: Greener and Better for your Budget

Paul J. Hoffman - Contributing Writer
Posted on Tuesday 29th September 2009

What comes to mind when you think about a design and construction project? For too many seasoned corporate professionals, their mind recalls overruns, finger pointing, being in between designers and general contractors and not receiving what they had hoped for and expected. . But, that’s not the way it has to be.

Total Project Management (TPM) provides a process that includes a single source of responsibility for all planning, architecture, and construction management services . This proven process increases accountability, streamlines the scope of work and improves communication and effectiveness. The positive relationship and continuous communication between the planner, architect and construction manager establishes continuity with committees, administrators, employees and other important stakeholders…developing stronger rapport while dramatically increasing owner satisfaction.

Integration is Imperative to Sustainability

Total Project Management is critical for maximizing sustainable (green) design and ensuring that organizations receive a facility that operates with superior environmental effectiveness and efficiency . TPM emphasizes planning, communication and brainstorming; involving the entire project team and stakeholders from the very beginning and encouraging the cultivation of alternatives and new ideas throughout the project.

The process we ( use in all of our projects is called Total Project Management: Vision Taken to the Power of Green® (TPMg). TPMg takes the many benefits of TPM to another level of value by fully integrating sustainability from concept through completion and ensures that every building owner receives what they desire. TPMg looks for the sustainable “sweet spot”, or POWER of gSM, where careful consideration includes four vital components: healthy productive environments; budget-driven capital costs; sustainable design and delivery; and value added life-cycle cost savings. When every decision considers satisfying these four elements, a solution is reached that provides a positive impact on employees, customers, vendors, the community and the bottom line of your company.

Collaboration is Pivotal in Total Project Management

Utilizing TPMg, a single contract is established with a firm that is able to handle all aspects of the project. A project team is assembled that includes the planners, architects, construction manager, expert consultants, and other specialists. This team engages with various owner focus groups.

Strategic decisions, such as evaluating the desired business solution, choosing the building site, and establishing overall project goals , that will have an impact for the life of the building, start immediately. These are all critical decisions that ensure a successful project.

Charrettes, collaborative sessions designed to address specific issues, are often used to help owner teams challenge each other and reach agreement. In one recent large project, as the project team came together with other key stakeholders to consider an issue, changes were made in lighting and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; resulting in savings of roughly two million dollars to the project budget without compromising sustainability.

Experiencing the Benefits of Total Project Management

At its core, TPMg is about listening, responding, collaborating, and engaging to ensure that all opportunities are discovered. Then, the best solutions are fully implemented to produce a facility which will enhance the mission of the organization, strengthen the business, and positively impact the community, while being respectful of the natural environment.

Paul J. Hoffman ( is owner and president of Hoffman LLC (, a Wisconsin-based planning, architecture, and construction management firm. His 50+ member firm began aggressively advocating sustainable design and construction in the 1990s, long before “green” became the new American fashion statement. His firm integrates a single-source of responsibility for planning, architecture, and construction management; and a commitment to holistic sustainable design and delivery, known as the POWER of g, or true sustainabilitySM.

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